How to choose a doula

A friend recently asked for advice on choosing a doula to share with her pregnant coven-mate. Since finding a great birth doula can make a huge difference in a birthing experience, I thought I’d share here what I wrote to her.

A doula should offer a free initial consultation and I’d suggest interviewing at least a couple of doulas that way. The most important thing is a matter of personal fit: does the doula feel like someone you can be vulnerable around?

Otherwise there are all kinda of things you can ask a doula eg. what’s her fee? does she work with a back up? what’s her birth philosophy? how does she feel about [something important to the mom eg. Paganism/VBAC/epidurals/breastfeeding/polyamory/massage…]?

Others who’ve had experience with doulas, what question would you suggest asking?

PS. Here’s a great list of ten things to consider when choosing a birth doula.

Doula Jen Miriam Altman supports mom in labor. From


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About Sarah Whedon

Sarah Whedon is founding editor of Pagan Families, the author of Birth on the Labyrinth Path: Sacred Embodiment in the Childbearing Year, and former Chair of the Department of Theology and Religious History at Cherry Hill Seminary. Sarah’s teaching, research, and advocacy work center around topics of spirituality, feminism, and reproduction. She makes her home in the Boston area with her partner and their children.